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How to reduce surgical risk

Every surgical procedure presents risks. But when the possible beneficial outcomes far outweigh the risks, surgery seems like the best choice. A study completed for the Department of Health and Human Services found that there were 17.2 million hospital visits for therapeutic surgery in 2014 and these numbers have been steadily rising. There are some steps that can be taken before and after a procedure to reduce the chances of complications from surgery.

Here are eight ways to increase your chances of surgical success.

Get a second look
When a planned surgery is not an emergency, it is wise to get a second opinion from another experienced surgeon. A second opinion may present a different treatment option that may be more desirable. A second opinion that is the same as the original plan can confirm the diagnosis as being the  best course of action, which can provide peace of mind.

Manage other medical issues
If you have existing medical problems like diabetes or lung problems, take steps to have these under control before surgery. Ask your doctor for a proactive program which may involve exercise, a special diet or other activities to boost your health before surgery.

Be aware of infection risks
Take steps to avoid infection before and after surgery. Be sure to bathe carefully before heading to the hospital and ask friends and family to use hand sanitizer when they come to visit after surgery. Have clean linens on the bed ready for your return home and avoid visitors who are ill since your resistance to disease may be lowered.

Don’t go it alone
Have a family member or close friend present at the hospital to ask questions and receive instructions. This person becomes your advocate who can make sure the doctor’s instructions are carried out, medications are given as needed, and questions are answered. Having an advocate can significantly reduce the chances of a medical error as well as help you remember post-surgical instructions.

Ask about anesthesia options
In some cases, there are options for anesthesia that might be safer for you. Ask your doctor if local, regional, general or sedation are the safest for you.

Get moving
After surgery, the risk of forming blood clots in the veins of your arms, legs or pelvis increases. If a clot breaks free, it can travel to the heart, lungs or brain and cause serious issues. One reason blood clots form is that a person is likely to be less active after surgery, which allows the blood to collect and form a clot. Getting up and moving as soon as the doctor approves activity can increase blood flow and reduce the blood clot risk. In some cases, blood thinners are given to address blood clot factors also.

Think ahead
Have a conversation with your surgeon about what to expect after surgery and make plans to address expected needs before you head to the hospital. Anything from climbing stairs to making meals can be affected, so figure out what you will need and get equipment, food and supplies ready.

Relying on the experts
If taking medications, finding adaptive devices, reducing infection risk and monitoring health issues seems overwhelming, there is a less complicated option. Choosing to recover in a short-term care facility following surgery is an ideal way to get effective care and therapy, and the expenses are often covered by Medicare. Also, the experienced staff is present round the clock to address the expected and unexpected events in your recovery journey.

Glenview Terrace, as a five-star Medicare rated rehabilitation center, has earned a reputation for offering one of the best post-hospital care programs in the area. Instead of having to rely on a friend or family member to help you with recovery, you can rest assured that the expert staff will address all your needs. They provide one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week and provide round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management. Healthy meals, quiet resting times and compassionate care provide a healthy and stress-free recovery experience.

This specialized care is offered in an elegant environment. The well-appointed rooms and suites are filled with custom-designed furnishings and include a deluxe bathroom with a private shower. Guests are pampered with a variety of amenities including attentive concierge service, morning coffee and newspaper delivered daily to the room, diverse menu selections and more.

When trying to manage your surgical risks, choose to recover at Glenview Terrace where the goal is getting you quickly and safely back to your independent lifestyle. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.